Avoid These 3 Common Homemade Jewelry Cleaning Methods

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Ask 100 people on the best way to clean your jewelry at home and you’ll get 100 different answers. Some of these “DIY” methods can work well and may provide you with safe and encouraging results, other methods however, can damage, degrade, and sometimes destroy your jewelry.

Here are a few things to keep an eye out for.

Common DIY Cleaning Components To Avoid

There are several compounds and components that you will commonly see mentioned in DIY jewelry cleaning methods – but just because you see them often doesn’t mean they’re good…

  • Witch Hazel: Quite a common natural ingredient for many DIY cleaning and skincare options, however as it is acidic, it can damage some soft or porous gemstones, as well as jewelry that is plated.
  • Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree is an essential oil that is used quite regularly, due to its antibacterial and antifungal properties, however, it can have quite a pungent odor when used in excess.
  • Vinegar: Another common choice, however as it is slightly acidic, it can damage any plated jewelry or stones that are porous or soft.
  • Baking Soda: Baking soda is slightly abrasive, meaning it can scratch some soft metals or stones.
  • Old Toothbrush: An old toothbrush will likely be contaminated with old toothpaste and other dirt, as well as being quite scratchy. Toothpaste residue can scratch some jewelry too!
  • Hot or Cold Water: A basic ingredient, however, make sure it isn’t too hot or too cold, as some gems do not respond well to drastic changes in temperature.

Common DIY Jewelry Cleaning Methods To Avoid

Here are 3 common DIY methods that use the compounds and components above that you should avoid.

  1. Baking Soda, Dish Detergent, Salt & Old Toothbrush: Baking soda is abrasive and an old toothbrush can cause scratching – not an ideal mix.
  2. Tea Tree Oil, Baking Soda, Witch Hazel & Old Toothbrush: Another common choice and although tea tree oil is suitable, both baking soda and witch hazel can damage soft or porous stones and metals, making this a potentially damaging cleaning mix. And don’t forget the old toothbrush with scratchy toothpaste residue!
  3. Baking Soda, Old Toothbrush and Hot Water: Finally, this method has abrasive baking soda, a scratchy old toothbrush, and water that may be too hot for some metals. Steer clear!

So, How Should You Clean Your Jewelry At Home?

The trusty traditional method of dish detergent and warm water is the best option available, but make sure you use a brand new, soft baby toothbrush when gently scrubbing your jewelry. Always dry it off carefully with a paper towel, and make sure your water isn’t too hot or too cold.

This should not, however, replace a twice-a-year visit to your jeweler – this is super important and allows any other issues with your jewelry to be detected during a clean.